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HMS Diana by dunnock - Caldercraft - 1:64


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I started my first ship, HM Cutter Hunter about 25 years ago and left it on a shelf. A couple of years ago, when I finally retired, I decide to finish it. I really enjoyed doing that so I looked around for something else and settled on HMS Fly but first as a refresher, I built the Brig Scotland by Corel. When I began the build, I discovered that unlike when I started Hunter, there was now lots of help and ideas on forums like this one and I must pay tribute to all the Swan builders on this forum who gave me the inspiration to add a few more features my build of Fly. I will post some photos when I have finished some final tweaks to her.

I looked at various options as a follow on from Fly but finally settled on HMS Diana. This will be my first build log, so please bear with if I make any silly errors.

The ply keel and bulkheads, though not quite as easy to work as the mdf in the Amati kit, I haven't found it too difficult to work. The keel and bulkhead slots needed quite bit of cleaning up to get them to fit together, as did the false deck but I think all is looking good now.

I am using AOTS Diana as a reference plus all the good information from previous builders on this site to help me.

I started by drawing the waterlines on the keel and bulkheads to help with chamfer angles and planking. I marked out on the keel where it will be visible through the hatch openings on the gun deck and although they may not be clearly visible, I'm thinking of cutting these away because I don’t think that it will compromise the structure.

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I have also marked up the angle of the bowsprit. As noted by Beef Wellington if placed as per the kit, it will interfere with the figurehead. Strangely it seems that the angle in the top drawing of sheet 1 is correct while the drawing below has it at a shallower angle. In the end I may replace the stem with a piece of boxwood so that the edges of the ply don’t show.

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I have marked out and cut the rabbet and am have started to shape the bulkheads at fore and aft but have left #17 because I’m not sure if it needs any shaping.DSC07464_1280.JPG.7c8554b7d07c9072dd340d10d81d834e.JPG

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Hi Dunnock, great to see another 'Diana' coming to life, looks like you are thinking well ahead.  I'm sure you've seen many of the other fine builds going on right now and I'd suggest letting folks know you've started your log.  Sure you'll get plenty of support and this kit definitely has its head scratching moments.  Look forward to more.

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Thanks Beef Wellington, I will be sure to add to those other Diana blogs.

As for head scratching moments, I’ve already had a few and in fact I’m having one of those now. I’m contemplating removing both prow and sternpost and replacing them with boxwood, which seems to be very difficult to get hold of here in the UK. I’m waiting for a delivery from Original Marquetry, who only have 7mm thick sheet, before I take the irreversible step of cutting things out. In the meantime, I have followed your line on the bowsprit and modified the keel and bulkhead 2 to allow it to come through to a step.

 

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I've also cut away the parts of the keel that can be seen through the false deck.

While I'm waiting for the boxwood, I think I'll make a start planking the part of the false deck that can be seen through the hatches of the gun deck.

 

David

 

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Great start :)  Hope you won't mind me pulling up a chair and sitting in on this build.

 

I used Original Marquetry for my boxwood and they were really helpful (even ringing up to check details on the order), and the veneer seemed to me to be very good quality. I found it pretty tough to get it to sit flat on the hull as I put down the second planking, but that was my skill level, not the wood's fault! There's less wriggle room than with the thicker planks. I don't regret using it. It has a really lovely colour.

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Hi Dunnock, I will be watching with interest as just started her myself. Interestingly I had no issues with, and no cleaning up to do of the bulkhead slots, as all fitted together perfectly. My kit has been stored under the spare bed for 10 years which may be why, or has their quality dropped? I am having the same decisions as you regarding bow and stern post and am undecided what wood to use as second planking. I have purchased some box to make my own planks and some pear in case I do not make a good job of the box planks with my small Proxxon circular saw. The only other addition made to the keel is an extra false keel that makes it the correct depth and additionally hides the plywood. I have done this as not decided whether to apply the copper plates yet.

 

Wish you all the best with your build, It does look like you won't need it, doing a great job so far.

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Welcome aboard Rob and Thunder and thanks for your comments and encouragement.

 

I ordered some boxwood from OM for the stem and sternpost plus a few sheets of 1.5 and 3mm which arrived the other day. As you say, they are most helpful and respond to enquiries very quickly. I hadn't thought of using boxwood for the visible planking above the wales but I am seriously considering it now.

 

While I was waiting for the boxwood to arrive, I planked the visible section of the false deck using the kit supplied tanganika. It is pretty rough on the edges and needed a fair bit of dressing; ok for this largely hidden area but I will be using some maple that I bought from CMB for the other decks. I used a Pigma brush pen as recommended by Ray to colour both edges of the strips before laying, which I found much easier and gave better results than my previous method of using a 4B pencil.

 

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The planks in the photo look a bit muddy but are better in reality.

 

My boxwood arrived from Original Marquetry so I set about marking out a new stern post and stem. I used the drawings from AotS for the stem. Having satisfied myself that the replacements were ok, I took the plunge and cut off the appropriate parts of the keel. A little filing, sanding and a thin filling piece required, but overall I was happy with the fit.

 

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At some point I had an accident with one of the bulkheads, which hopefully I can fix later.

 

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As other builders have spotted, the position of the mizzen mast is slightly aft compared to AotS and the space between skylight mast bitts and mast is pretty tight on the kit plan. I have decided to leave the mast where it is and move the skylight back a few mm.

 

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The bulkheads and deck are now glued and fixed.

 

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I'll carry on with the termination pieces and the balsa infills but leave the stern section off for the time being.

 

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Hi,

 

Investigating that Mizzen mast position have come across the details below

 

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Sorry for poor drawing but hopefully can show the two locations for the Mizzen mast. One drawn in red which looks to compare with measurements of the kit. Second in green that seems to be as AOS book. Therefore difficult to say when these were moved. There is two lines plans in the NMM. looks like as originally built with open bulwarks the mast was as kit, with built up barricades as AOS. This would imply kit incorrect but still conjecture unless someone has the dates.

 

I have not purchased the drawings so cannot read the text, can someone help with this?  

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I seem to recall that the black lines are the 'as designed', the red shows 'as built', and the green would show alterations made after the fact.  Of of course, how disciplined this update procedure was is unknown.  Curious which plan this comes from, looking at the barricades, it looks like it shows a ship pierced for cannons (smaller ports) which would suggest an earlier design.  I came to conclusion looking at a number of plans (which would have been drawn at slightly different times for different ships/yards) and considering the changes in approach at the time this class was built (esp. built up vs open bulwarks, adoption of carronades) that there are enough inconsistency to perhaps never know exactly how they looked at a specific time.  I think it is also true that some of the plans are mis-labeled, typically identifying ships generally as Diana, when it may be representing the entire Artois class, or a different ship in the same class.

 

I purchased the profile plan for "Diana" from NMM, which seems to be general for the Artois class.  Interestingly, on that plan the mizzen position seems to be closest to that of the 'green' mizzen on yours (which adds to the confusion a little).  FWIW, there is a notation on my plan indicating that the position of the foremast on both "Jason" and "Diamond" was moved forward 6 1/4 inches, and this is shown with a green X on the mast center only rather than showing in full.

Edited by Beef Wellington
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Hi Jason, I took from the inboard profile plan for Diana J5531. Interestingly you can see similar movements on the deck plan J5527.

 

Seems a lot of work to move an existing ship for 61/4 inches as it shows moving the bits, wheel and skylight for each change as well. Most probably for slight modifications for each successive order. Most were ordered at the same time including Artois, Diana, Diamond, Apollo, Jason and Seahorse. The fir ships Clyde and Tamar and then Ethalion were ordered later. So unless the plans were used for another class we can assume the alterations were for these last three ships. (four if take into account Clyde was rebuilt). Of course only conjecture. All the original batch seemed to have been launched within a close period of time so was not after the first to improve sea quality.

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Imagine the scene, Shipwright from one yard gets to the stage of stepping the masts and has a whatsapp group with the other shipwrights. "**** old Henslow has made this tight to fit in next to the mast bits and skylight" " I should get on to the navy board if i was you and get permission to shift it forward a few inches, be a real pig to have to move the deck beams"

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Jason and Thunder, interesting to see your comments on the mizzen mast position. It seems OK to take the easy road and leave it where it is.

I've started planking the gun deck using maple strip but I've come to a halt because for some inexplicable reason, I didn't order enough so I'm waiting for a delivery from CMB. I began from the centre line with 3mm as far as the outer edges of the hatch openings then a couple of runs of 5mm followed by more 3mm. I thought that I would have  go at top and butt planking and have completed the first two rows.

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I am now puzzling over how to make a decent job of the final two rows up to the waterway while waiting for the rest of the wood to arrive. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not too happy with the maple strips that I received with large variability in strip width and thickness and in the quality of the surface.

I realised that I had not laid enough 3mm planks before starting the top & butt so I removed them and laid another two runs before starting the top and butt again. I cut out a template from plasticard to try to get consistent planks but in the end I found I could do much better by measuring and cutting each individually. I think the last rows probably follow no known pattern but I tried to fit them as best I could. The next time it might be better to work from the waterway into the centre. Anyway I have now completed planking the deck. It took quite a lot of scraping and sanding to get a reasonable surface but it's now done and a couple of coats of thinned matt varnish applied to give some protection. I placed temporary supports under the deck because it was very flexible especially around the hatch openings.

 

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I'm now moving on to the inner walls.

Looking at the AotS, on page 108, the spirketting is in top & butt planking, Overall the bulwarks are scale 6mm in thickness, but the kit bulkheads are nearly 4mm, plus two layers of lime and a layer of walnut makes a total thickness of 8mm. I am reluctant to thin the bulkheads and using thinner planks might weaken the structure for cutting gunports. I have decided to lay the spirketting and string in 1.5 lime and then the quickwork in 1mm tanganyika. However I've just realised that the lime strip supplied by caldercaraft is 6mm not 5 as stated in the instructions which will throw out the line of the gunports with respect to the inner planking. I don't have any other suitable stripwood so it's another order to CMB.

 

While laying up the first run of spirketting, I realised that bulkhead 6 on the starboard side is misplace and will need thinning on the inside and adding to on the outside.

 

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Edited by dunnock
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Congratulations on battling through though doesn't sound like it was much fun, and we can all relate to that.  You've got some very creditable results there despite the challenges, and the top and butt planking looks great.  

 

I know its not much consolation, think we are all struggling with the inconsistent, poor quality of even aftermarket providers.  Each time I have had to order something from CMB, I've added in some maple strip which I will need for the quarterdeck and foc's'l.  Aside from the poor quality you allude to, I've been supplied with wood that clearly wasn't even maple (limewood strip and sheets of something that looks like soft maple, cherry and something I can't even guess at after I explored cutting my own strip).  

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It's a long slog to get that deck planked but it looks like you've done a great job. The bulwarks add lots of strength for planking which is a great help. Far less risk of snapping off the  bulkhead tabs.

 

Hope the 5mm planks turn out to be well milled.

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Thanks Jason and Rob for your kind comments.

While I'm waiting for the strips from CMB, I'll continue with the balsa filling blocks and getting ready for first planking. I'm also looking ahead to making the hatch coamings and covers. I think Rob, that you got some boxwood from a guitar making source do you have a link to them?

David

Edited by dunnock
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Hi David,

 

It was these guys. And it was really really lovely wood - just what you'd expect from a luthier's supplier.

 

https://shop.exotichardwoods.co.uk/castello-boxwood-guitar-banding-800-x-6-x-2mm.html

 

They do, however, have a minimum order, so I got some sheets of Castello Boxwood at the same time, which I used for the replacement stem and rudder post. In retrospect I wish I'd bought more of these banding strips. I ran out.

 

Rob

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That's great thanks Rob. I'll take a look.

My lime strips turned up this morning from CMB and they look pretty good so I'm going to finish off the messy job of sanding down the balsa blocks at bow and stern before I go back to the inner walls.

 

David

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

I realised why my deck was so flexible, having forgotten to fix the deck beams beforehand. Stupid error but it won’t be the last I’m sure. I fitted beams 7a and 10a and cut them around the hatch openings but I left the others off as they went right under the hatches. The coamings should add some rigidity once fitted.

 

The inner walls went quite well. The 5mm strips of limewood from CMB were nicely finished and didn’t require much cleaning up. Two runs of 5mm which I painted first, followed by 3 of 4.5mm Tanganyika and a final row of 6mm limewood. I am hoping that all this will make it easier to cut and line up the gun ports, the bottom edge of which should sit along the top of the 5mm planks.  I planked the entire run of inner walls having first thinned down the inner front bulkhead struts to give a more even run. Sanded down and painted red and the area behind the forward cabin bulkhead white. It’s a pity that the cabin area can’t be opened up more to be seen through the gallery windows but that would involve a lot of cutting away of bulkheads. Without modification I know that this area will not be seen easily, if at all, but I want to add the cabin partitions again like I did with Fly, hopefully making some improvements this time.

 

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I have now started on the first layer of planking. The 6mm strips provided in the kit are really good. The first plank at upper deck level. There are some irregularities in the height of the supports but I will level these out later. The first two planks went on straight followed by the next tapered at the bow. I am chamfering each plank on the bottom edge to try to get a tight fit edge to edge but I still have difficulty get them to mate together in places. The irregularities will be taken care of with plenty of sanding and filler later. So far I have been fitting a plank each side to keep things even. I’ve got to the tight bend at the stern section. is a struggle and I am also wondering whether I have tapered the planks at the bow by too much.

 

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 Anyway, I’ll keep going…

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first planking of most of the hull is now completed. It threw up a few challenges to avoid the worst of the clinkering at the bow and has meant a few pointy planks and small fillers. I have tried before the idea of splitting the hull into sections and marking out each with tick strips but was never able to get on with it. Probably because my starting points and measuring were not precise enough.  Maybe I will have another try on the second layer.

 

 

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Just the quarterdeck and fo’csle walls to complete.

 

At the bow, I am grateful to Jason for his solution to the problem of providing support for the planking where modifications for the bowsprit and the stem have taken it away. At the quarterdeck, I like the more open appearance of the configuration as built but I would also like to include the carronades in the build. Was there ever a time when carronades were present before the rails were filled in ?

 

David

Edited by dunnock
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8 hours ago, dunnock said:

At the bow, I am grateful to Jason for his solution to the problem of providing support for the planking where modifications for the bowsprit and the stem have taken it away.

 

I neglected to do this properly, and it shows on my final model, so I think you've done a great job there. The more work you do to really get it sanded down neatly and ready for the second planking, the easier that will prove. It's a great start well made :)

 

8 hours ago, dunnock said:

Probably because my starting points and measuring were not precise enough. 

 

If you work it out again as you go every few planks, you can accommodate for the inaccuracies and push things back into line... it's the only way I find will work for me, as my planking is never accurate enough to get it right first time. The mix of planks that are never perfectly the dimensions I think they are, and slightly off marking, and slightly off cutting mean I'm never quite where I expected to be.  

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David - you can rest easy, there is plenty of historical latitude at this specific time period when these ships were designed and built, which was a great period of change to really do what you want.  Built up bulwarks were the fashion, then moved back to open bulwarks, and then finally built up again.  Armament wise, carronades gradually added to, and final replaced the quarterdeck and foc's'l cannon.  Available plans are not consistent for specific ships, probably because of the factors above and depending on when they were drafted and what they represent (as designed, or built, or when in service).

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Thanks Rob and Jason for the advice and encouragement.
I've spent the last two afternoons sanding and filling and sanding and filling and...

A little more to do but as you say Rob good preparation will make the second planking go more smoothly.

 

David

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Posted (edited)

The filling and sanding of the hull after first planking is now completed, so the next task was to complete the fo’csle and q’deck walls.

 

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I made a couple of temporary balsa wood filler blocks for the bow where there was no longer any support for the planking, having earlier removed the plywood stem. A single limewood strip was soaked and bent around the bow, left to dry for it to take on the shape and finally cut the scrolls to shape before gluing to the hull.

 

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The q’deck was a little more complicated. I looked at various drawings from the NMM archive and in the AotS . ‘The Sailing Frigate’ by Robert Gardiner, which has several pictures of Diana as-built was also usefu,l as well as previous logs of Diana builds. Finally I drew up a template. It’s a bit of a chimera but following Jason’s view above that there were many configurations of q’deck at the time of the Diana, I opted for a carronade and cannon layout similar to Rob Durant’s Ethalion. It may not be historically accurate but I wanted to include both open rails and carronades, so I'm happy with this compromise

 

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Lining up the template with the stern gallery

 

The walls were made off model with three strips of limewood glued together, then shaped before glueing to the hull. The gun ports were marked out and scored for later cutting. I also previously cut back the bulkhead struts to the level of the q’deck walls.

 

Template and q'deck walls

Template and above the q'deck walls glued up

 

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I will next mark up the lower deck gun ports and cut them out. In preparation, I have printed out at 1:64, the planking expansion drawing in AotS to help with the alignment.

 

David

 

 

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Edited by dunnock
Still getting the hang of posting text and pictures in the right places!
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Posted (edited)

Those gunports..

 

The positioning of the gunports is as problematic as everyone says. I started by using the side profile from the AotS as a template but found it didn’t work out that well. In the end I placed the upper line of the gunport along the second layer of planking as per the kit instruction and measured the placements from bulkhead 16. All are spaced at 30mm except 7 & 8 which are 35mm apart and 3& 4 which are at 28mm. I found that this avoided the problem of cutting through bulkheads but overall the line and spacings still looked OK to me.

 

I drilled around the edges of the ports using a 1mm drill bit beginning at the stern. After drilling 5 ports, I stopped to check from inboard and thought they looked too low. I cut out port 14 and made up a single 18lb cannon just quickly to see how it would look. You can see from the photo that the gun wasn't sitting centrally as it should.

 

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My idea was to site the barrel between spirketting and string, so if I’d thought about it properly, I could have avoided this mess by making sure that happened when I marked the up the gunports.

So now I had to cut out the ports that I had drilled and add a filler to lift the sills to the correct height. Having done that, I think that the test gun now looks much better placed within its port.

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Just a word on the cannon. The barrels must have been changed since earlier kits where builders complained of over-sized cascabels and of being generally the wrong shape. I’m quite happy with the ones supplied, being pretty similar to the AotS drawing. The carriages though are a bit rough and will need some work and I will probably at least replace the trucks. I don’t like the walnut ones at all.

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To make sure I got the port at the right level, I used a hand drill to make reference holes at the top of the gunport position from the inside of the hull and then measured and marked the outside of the hull accordingly.

 

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I was much more careful now, checking as I went along that the ports were sitting correctly, first down the port side and then followed the same marking system along the starboard side.

 

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I sanded the ports to leave some room for final finishing at the next stage when the linings are added.

 

 

 

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Edited by dunnock
Still getting the hang of posting text and pictures in the right places!
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A bit of an update and later a question…

 

I completed lining the gun ports without lids as per the instructions. The 10mm strips left plenty of overhang to allow for trimming and sanding back and they are now painted to the same red as the internal walls. I have used a mix of Humbrol red 60 and brown 70 which was recommended in the Victory kit of HMS Fly and was left over from my build.

 

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After sanding and repainting the inner walls, I realised that I had not considered the sweep ports. These are not mentioned in the instructions until much later and then are only addressed by sticking on bits of 4x4 to the outside of the hull. I wanted a better representation since they might just be visible from the inside. There are 5 of these along each side. From the photo below you can see how many attempts I made at measuring. AotS shows 3mm ports but I went with the kit sizing at 4mm which were difficult enough to make.

 

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I lined the first couple of ports with 1mm thick walnut strip but this was tricky to get right and looked too thick, so I stripped them out and used 0.5mm which looks in better proportion. These too were sanded back and the inner walls touched up again.

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Now the question. Why leave lining the lidded ports until after the second planking is completed?
I can see that the lids should fit flush with the hull on the outside, which means leaving the second planking short around the ports by 1mm each side. However, the lids provided in the kit fit inside the 16x14 ports, so after covering with the second planking, they will have a 1mm lip of thin planking all round.
Last October I went down to Chichester for a few days of bird watching and to look around Victory and Warrior. As can be seen in the photo, the whole of gun port lid on Victory fits inside the gun port and there is no lip.

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I'm planning to line the lidded gunports now allowing for the thickness of the lid. They could then be finished and painted without risk of paint bleeding onto the second planking. The second planking should then run up to the edge of the gunports.

Maybe this is all a statement of the obvious and I am overthinking it but I would be interested in any comments.

 

David

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Looking great. I missed the sweep ports on my build and wished I'd added them at the stage you had. I didn't think they'd look right stuck on so I just left them off but yours look great. As far as lining the ports goes I lined them all at this stage. You just have to be more careful getting the edges lined up on the second planking so you get the recessed edge. But it's definitely doable with a little care.

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Thanks to Theodosius and Black Viking for your likes and comment and to Rob for advice on the gun ports.

 

I went ahead and the lidded ports are now also lined using 6mm wide lime strips. They are set back from the edge by the thickness of the lid plus second layer of planking.

 

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The lower counter has been planked with 3mm kit walnut. The ports are marked out to the sizing in the AotS rather than the kit plan. I’m not sure what these ports are for. I don’t think that they can be gun ports and in the AotS diagram B3/1 they are identified as false lights, (the key for 17 and 21 being transposed I assume). The picture of the model on page 16 shows them as open cut-outs but they are obviously meant to be lidded as photographs of other models in ‘The Sailing Frigate’ clearly show.
The helm port has been cut out to accommodate the thicker sternpost and the rudder that I have still to make.

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The Main Wale

 

The position of the wale, as others have said, is critical to the look of the ship and how other elements, particularly the quarter gallery relate to it. I plan to start the second planking by completing the wale using 3mm kit wood to build up the thickness and then to finish off with 0.7mm boxwood veneer. I’m contemplating making the top veneer in top and butt although after painting black, it might all be hidden.

I started by marking the waterline using a pretty crude rig of block of wood with a pencil clamped to it and then followed up with masking tape. The position of the top of the wale was marked using measurements taken from the centre of the lower edge of each gun port. I used the AotS drawing, although the measurements on the kit plan are similar. Once marked, I taped a strip of kit walnut to the hull to check the line and its position relative to the waterline.

 

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I feel pretty happy with the look and how it will sit with the quarter gallery so I can go ahead and plank the wale but I think first I will fix the boxwood knee of the head which I have marked off to simulate the pieces that make it up and cut a rabbet to take the planking.

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I am hoping that this will give me a neater finish than adding the stem after planking.

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

The main wale is finished and I have started the second planking above the wale line.

 

I used the kit walnut and first glued 6 strips of 3 mm wide, followed by two strips of 4 mm and 2 strips of 5 mm. My idea was to avoid having the joint lines correspond between the two layers but I applied the second layer in the sequence 5, 4, 4 and 5 mm thus ensuring that the centre joint line corresponded perfectly!

Each layer was sanded in between and the top layer of 0.7 x 6 mm boxwood from Original Marquetry applied.

The boxwood was applied as 115 mm planks cut top and butt in a pattern as close to that shown in the plank expansion in AotS as I could get. The wale was finally painted with Tamiya matt black. I needed 4 or 5 coats to get a good finish. It has a slight sheen, perhaps more of a satin then a dead matt. It’s the first time I have used Tamiya acrylic paints and I was surprised how thin it was although it did cover well. I assume the paint is designed to be spray applied but  having no spray gun, I used a 1/2’’ Daler brush.

 

First layer of the wale

First layer of the wale

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Second layer of kit walnut

 

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Top and butt in boxwood

 

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The finished main wale

 

I have made a start on planking above the wale using 4 and 5 mm boxwood veneer. The thickstuff above the wale was first applied with a layer of 5 mm kit walnut followed by 5 mm boxwood. In the planking expansion, the lengths of plank varied considerably, perhaps based on the timber available at the time. I have cut planks to a nominal 115 mm but used other lengths where joints would come in an inconvenient place.

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The ventilation scuttles were fiddly  and I hope that I have cut the planks around the lidded gunports correctly.

 

I will continue planking above the wale before starting below. I notice that the first 6 strakes under the wale are in top and butt planking, although I think that they will only be mostly visible at bow and stern, the rest being covered by copper plates. Nevertheless I will probably have to order more boxwood.

Edited by dunnock
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